Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - Traversee du Bosphore
azjavagirl 6/16/2011 12:34:00 AM
I am so very disappointed. I love many in the l'Artisan line and had such high hopes for this fragrance based on the reviews here, as I was intrigued by the idea of Turkish candy married to tobacco and leather. Not sure what I was expecting exactly, but it's definitely not what I got: Unfortunately, all I get from TdB is....orange creamsicle. Start to finish, I smell like a frozen cream pop. In the opening there is a whisper of tobacco and a nutty wood (the pistachio, perhaps?), but the creamy fruit note is already there, faint but discernible. Within a half hour, the creamsicle note is pronounced. In an hour, it's all I can smell. No roses, no leather. Just sweet, fluffy, fruity vanilla ice cream. Not what I wanted, which of course means that it has amazing lasting power, especially for a l'Artisan. I even used alcohol to try to remove it, and it is still here over five hours later, going strong. Ah, well, my wallet is happy.
Now that I'm of a certain age (ahem), I don't always benefit from dark eyeliner and drama--bright and light can "lift" my look and help me avoid that dreaded "you look a little tired today" from well meaning colleagues and friends. 506Y is a pinky/purpley/gray little eye pencil with some shimmer (not glitter!) that adds glow with just a bit of color to my lower eye when I want a fresh and natural daytime look. It brings out the green in my hazel eyes and catches a bit of light, counteracting the darkness of my mascara. If I want a bit more drama for night or a non-work day, I can use it over a darker liner to brighten and lift the area. Love this little bargain! I'm purchasing another to keep in my handbag for a pick me up on long days.... For reference: Dark hair, hazel eyes, Armani LSF 5, MAC NC 20ish, Dior Forever 020.
Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow - Rose Gold #8
azjavagirl 10/29/2010 10:33:00 AM
This is a lovely, unique color with subtle shimmer. It works beautifully in the crease on my hazel eyes--not so pink/rose it makes me look tired, not so gold it disappears, not so shimmery it calls attention to any lines. It's a warm nude that defines subtly. I wear it with a creamy beige (MAC Brule or LM Buttercream or TM Soft Peach ) on the lids and a blackened teal (Chanel Celadon) liner. It's a great fresh neutral eye. As a bonus--I *love* this shade as a blush. A lovely warm nude/rose pick-me-up with a bit of radiance. And it lasts longer than many other blushes I own. I might like Rose Gold as a blush even more than as an eye shadow! For reference: Brunette, hazel eyes, NC25-30, Dior Forever 2.0/3.0 (light/med skin with neutral undertones)
I've used and can appreciate the effectiveness of UDPP, but it's rather drying on my eyes and doesn't provide enough color for days when I don't want to do a whole shadow routine. TM's Eye Base Essentials is a great eye shadow base and wonderful on its own to smooth out the lid and provide an eye-brightening even color. When I add shadow on top I can count on color longevity and crease free lids for at least 8 hours, often more. My #1 color choice is Bare--a creamy nude color that is slightly lighter than my skintone and neutral enough to wear on its own with mascara and some lipgloss on a low makeup day. I've repurchased several times and will continue to do so. For reference: brunette, hazel eyes, NC 25ish, Shiseido Perfect Smoothing I-20/40 or Dior Forever 020/030,
Eye Shadow -Christian Dior - 5 Colour Eyeshadow - Elegante 553
azjavagirl 5/14/2009 10:24:00 AM
I have a love-hate relationship with this quint. I love the creamy, soft texture of the eyeshadows. I love three of the shadow colors--the darkest color is a lovely bronzey golden crease, the bottom right and top right are great lid/inner corner colors for a summer neutral eye. And I flat out adore the shimmer of these shadows: no glitter, no OTT sparkliness, just a subdued glowy sheen that is flattering to middle-aged lids and appropriate for day. So why no 5 rating? It's the lack of color range in the palette. It's not that I crave crazy colors-- I'm a devoted neutral girl and can appreciate the subtle differences of various beiges and browns (I love the Incognito quint, for example). I agree the colors in Elegante are beautiful neutrals in the peach/golden family, but there is just not enough variation here for 5 shadows. The middle and top left colors are too close to the bottom right to be essential. I needed one lighter color with a teensy bit less gold/shimmer for a highlight and/or lid base, and I would have loved one color in the palette with a matte or very low sheen for some options--it could have been midtone or deep, a beigey bronzey neutral or a lovely pop of color. I hate that when I open this relatively expensive and five-color palette I want/need to open another for a brow highlight or deep liner or matte contour/base. Hence my 3 star rating and "would not buy again" choice.
Red Strass is a beautiful red with coral undertones and a subtle gold sheen on my pigmented lips. Creamy, not matte but not shiny finish. I would call the color warm to neutral red. I have medium light skin with brunette hair and hazel eyes, my mom has blonde hair with blue eyes and it looks great on both of us--it makes the blue in her eyes pop and perks up my darker features. I occasionally layer Strass over Folie de Grenat (a deep classic red KissKiss) for a brighter pop of color and sheen--beautiful. I find the packaging a bit clunky and over the top and I wish the lippies were cheaper, but the formula is great and a KissKiss is a nice splurge.
As I get older, dark eyeliner tends to make me look more "harsh and tired" than anything remotely close to classic/sexy/dramatic. I need to use lighter, sometimes brighter liner to provide definition for my hazel eyes, and a lower eyeliner in a deep but bright blue seems to be ideal. Enter Sephora's 509Y chunky blue pencil. It's a great turquoisey blue with a hint of teal and some shimmer that somehow isn't over the top when used as a lower eyeliner (amazingly not over the top, given I just typed both blue and shimmer for an eye product). The color is near perfect: deep enough to define, no chance of being harsh. I reach for it regularly and use it on lower lashline with an otherwise neutral eye (MAC Yogurt or Blanc Type wash, Kid or Wedge crease,a deep navy tightlined upper lid, plenty of black mascara). I'm giving it a four instead of five because it doesn't last the day and can crumble a bit as you use it if left unsharpened for too long. But hey, it's highly portable and it's cheap, fun, and easy to use. I like the color better than UD's 24/7 Electric (Sephora's is less crayola bright), and the ease of application over MUFE's aqua liner (which I find a bit waxy). I need to try the Sephora Flashy liners, but I'll probably continue to use and buy this one for as long as they make it. Brunette,hazel eyes, light/medium neutral skin--MAC NC 25-30, GA LSF 5.0, Dior 020/030.
Eyeliner -Clinique - Cream Shaper for Eyes-Egyptian
azjavagirl 1/11/2009 7:34:00 PM
My HG liner. I think the reviewer a few below captured the color as well as one can: blackened olive with golden sheen. Perfect color and intensity for my hazel eyes and medium light NC 25ish/Dior 023/030 skin. It's great for defining the upper lashline. and used lightly it's perfect for the lower lashline--less harsh than black, more interesting than (and it doesn't make me look tired like!) brown, more neutral than a color like purple or true green. Looks great with any eye shadow looks that I've tried. Creamy and easy to apply but lasts the whole day. I'll buy it as long as they make it--and if they stop making it I'll howl and hoard.
This is my favorite purchase of 2008--and maybe my HG blush. The color is perfect for me--I am NC 25-30, GA LSF 5, Dior Forever powder 030. I've finally figured out that I need clear, true blush colors rather than dusky, browned colors or my cheeks look muddy and I look tired/older. Charming is a medium pinky rose with little to no shimmer that brightens up my complexion without looking garish or "dolly." It is pigmented but sheer, if that makes sense: plenty of color, but allows the skin beneath to show through so it looks natural. (For reference, I think Charming color compares to Chanel JC in Poesie, or maybe a slightly darker version of Narcisse.) I wear powder foundation (Shiseido Perfect Smoothing in I20), and I find that my best application method is to lightly dot the Aquablush on my apple and blend quickly, one cheek at a time. The blush is fairly pigmented and cool and it dries quickly on me, so I need to move fast so that it's easy to blend. I find it very long lasting, even without any powder over top. I love this stuff. I am definitely going to explore other Aquablush colors. They are expensive, but perhaps not so bad when you consider how much product is in the stick and how beautifully they perform. I'd highly recommend them (or at least I recommend Charming!). For reference: I'm brunette, hazel eyes, skin colors mentioned above.
Powder -Shiseido - Perfect Smoothing Compact Foundation SPF 15
azjavagirl 1/10/2009 3:56:00 PM
I have finally found a perfect shade and formula match for my skin. HG! I have been wearing the Shiseido Perfect Smoothing for a week now and have gotten more compliments on my skin than I have in the last few years. The powder is creamy and easy to blend and offers moderate coverage with the included sponge applicator--it doesn't take much to get a beautifully airbrushed finish. No caking, no powdery finish--the foundation seems to melt into the skin. I wear Shiseido's cream SPF under it and a cream blush (Chantecaille aquablush) over it without any problems and my foundation and blush last the day. I have been a long time devotee of Vincent Longo Water Canvas foundation, and I still think it's great stuff, but it's getting hard to find and the delicacy of the VL WC gel cake becomes annoying as pan begins to show; the Shiseido is easier/quicker to use and gives a beautiful, fresh finish with medium coverage. I also have used DiorSkin Forever compact, which is another lovely powder foundation, but the Shiseido covers more evenly and lasts longer on my normal/combo skin. I am somewhere between an 030/023 in the Dior Forever, so it's a little frustrating to find a good match. Shiseido I-20 is perfect. For reference, I'm GA LSF 5.5, Stila C, MAC NC 25-30, brunette with hazel eyes.
Lip Gloss -MAC - Red Devil (Brunette, Blonde, Redhead Coll., Spring 2009)
azjavagirl 1/10/2009 12:04:00 PM
For me Red Devil is the standout gloss of the BBR Spring 2009 collection. It's a clear, true coral with golden sheen--not sparkly, but there is a slight glimmer effect. Plenty of pigment on my pigmented lips--in fact, it's almost too much color with a loaded doe-foot; I like the color best when I apply it less heavily and then dab it evenly with a finger. It's a color that "wakes up" my NC 25-30 face, and it made my mom's blue eyes stand out (she is much fairer in color than I). Typical MAC vanilla scent and doe-foot applicator. For reference, I'm brunette, hazel eyed, NC 25-30/Dior Forever 020-030/Stila C/ Armani LSF 5.5.
Cranberry is a beautiful deep berry red on my pigmented lips. No real brown, orange, or pink tones--more a lovely neutral and muted red. This is my "day red" lipstick, especially perfect for fall and the holiday season. It's classic enough on its own for the workplace but also good for evenings out with some shimmery golden gloss (or, even better, Bobbi Brown's LE Candlelight lipstick) lightly applied to the mid lower lip. For a "sheer" lipstick it has great coverage and decent lasting power. I'm a fan of the creamy coverage of Bobbi Brown lippies, and Cranberry is one of her classic hits for me. For reference, I'm a Dior Forever 3.0, MAC 25-30, GA LSF 5.5 with hazel eyes and medium brown hair.
I was lucky enough to swap for this hard-to-obtain Chanel JC and I'm sad I won't be able to get a backup. This is what I hoped Narcisse would be for me: a light but not dolly pink blush that would bring fresh color to my face winter or summer. Narcisse shows up on me, but it looks a little odd because it's so cool and light and candy-pink on my neutral/golden skin. Poesie is a lovely light pink blush for those of us with medium-light to medium skin. It's lighter than Rose Petale, is deeper and has more rose than Narcisse, and is lighter, cooler, and with none of the brown tones of Orchid Rose or Rose Bronze. No shimmer, more of a glowy matte. I find the EU JC's a little less creamy and soft than the US JCs, but I have no problem getting color from Poesie with a light swirl of my blush brush. For reference: hazel-eyed brunette--LSF 5; Dior Forever 2.0/3.0 (winter/summer); MAC NC 25-30.
Nuits Enchantees is a beautiful fragrance from Laura Mercier--such a shame it's not being distributed widely in the US. On my skin, the coffee note is quite distinct in the opening and weaves in and out through drydown. I get a bit of mandarin in the initial spray that thankfully disappears quickly. I don't detect the tuberose on my skin, and I get more cedar than sandalwood, though wood is not a prominent note, more of a "feel" in this fragrance. Enchantees settles down on me into a warm, non-foody, somewhat sweet, rich mix of amber, heavy spice, and vanilla, with the spice and amber predominating. It is a bit strong and it lasts--I got two compliments the first time I wore it, which is not typical for me as I'm not a heavy spritzer. I've seen NE compared to Safran Troublant and Tendre Friandise. I can see the comparisons, but Enchantees is distinct: On my skin Safran Troublant is drier and a bit quirkier with that distinct saffron note--it's less "familiar" in terms of an oriental scent than the Enchantees. I find Enchantees less sweet and richer than Tendre Friandise--Enchantees is more fall spice than candy. Lovely box, but the bottle is similar to LM's other offerings, complete with the heavy silver cap. $75 for 50 ml at my Nordstrom's, which didn't do pre-orders and sold from the shelf (lucky me!).
This is one of my favorite pigments ever. A warm, golden brown with golden shimmer that doesn't turn red or green or gray or purple--it's just a rich, gorgeous golden mid-tone brown. It's a perfect daytime crease color for me with a matte light lid and any liner I want to pair with it. For evening I can use it in the crease with a more shimmery lid color and a bright liner with a strong lip. Some might call it boring, but I'm going to call it versatile. It's a staple and HG material. For reference: hazel eyes and medium brunette with golden streaks; NC 25-30, Dior Forever 2.0-3.0, Stila 30-40 watt, LSF 5.0.